Although Florida has tried to keep people’s personal and business lives as normal as possible during the ongoing health crisis, there have been inevitable changes to daily activities. As a result, the roads have been less congested. This has led to some drivers taking liberties with adhering to the law and behaving recklessly. People should be aware of the growing danger and be cautious. When an accident does happen, it is important to understand their rights.
Fatal accidents on the rise despite less traffic
Statistically, there has been an increase in fatal crashes even with fewer people on the road. Anecdotal evidence has been troubling with Tampa drivers taking part in a drag race at 85 mph and a fatal crash between a motorcycle and a pedestrian in which the bike was believed to have been traveling at around 80 mph. In states across the country, incidents like these are being reported with injuries and death. Experts believe that the pandemic is a prominent reason for these driving behaviors.
The American Society of Civil Engineers said that when the national shutdown began in March 2020, Florida had nearly half as much traffic as it did one year earlier. This was seen in nationwide statistics. Los Angeles and New York saw traffic decline by around 60%. Washington D.C. saw a 68% drop. Zendrive conducted a study of its own and found that distracted driving has been on the upswing.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that five hospital trauma centers it surveyed from March to July had 65% of people who were seriously hurt or killed had alcohol or drugs in their system suggesting that people are using the pandemic as an excuse to use intoxicating substances before driving. That was up from 51% in the previous six months. In a subsequent study, it was more than 61% from July to September. Florida saw accidents decrease by more than 400,000 from 2019 to 2020, but there were 3,286 deaths in 2020 when compared to 3,191 in 2019. This suggests that the accidents are more severe.
Having experienced legal advice may help after an auto accident
With the behaviors drivers are exhibiting and the rise in fatal accidents because of it, people can be confronted with a crash and its aftermath regardless of how vigilant they are. This can lead to massive medical costs, lost wages, long-term care expenses and, in a worst case, a funeral after the unexpected loss of a loved one. Having legal assistance can be helpful in determining how to move forward in seeking compensation. Consulting with a firm experienced in personal injury claims might help.